Deadly brain-eating amoeba: what to know


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Earlier in September, a Texas child died of the disease.

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Earlier this month a rare brain-eating amoeba infected and killed a child in Texas.

Arlington officials said the boy was hospitalized with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) – a rare and often fatal infection caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba – before his death on September 11.


The amoeba was found in a Texas splash pad that the child visited, and a review found flaws in water quality testing at several parks.

Child infected with rare brain-eating amoeba found in Texas splash pad dies

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amoeba is Found extensively in freshwater located in southern states, freshwater hot bodies, geothermal water, hot water discharge, poorly maintained swimming pools, water heaters, soil and geothermal drinking water sources.

Naegleria fowleri is not found in salt water and grows best at temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

People cannot become infected by drinking water containing amoeba and infection only occurs when water containing Naegleria fowleri enters the body through the nose and then into the brain.

Infection usually occurs when people swim or dive in warm, freshwater locations, although Naegleria infection can also occur when: contaminated water from other sources Enters the nose and when people irrigate their sinuses with contaminated tap water.

Infections occurring mainly in the summer months of July, August and September are rare.

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34 infections were reported in the US from 2010 to 2019. Thirty out of 34 were infected with recreational water.

Once the amoeba enters the nose, it causes PAM in the brain, which is usually fatal and destroys brain tissue.

The agency noted that PAM. early symptoms of symptoms may be similar to bacterial meningitis.

Symptoms begin about five days after infection and include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting.

Later symptoms may include stiffness in the neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations.

Once symptoms begin, the disease causes death within about five days.

The mortality rate is over 97% and only four of the 148 infected individuals known in the US from 1962 to 2019 have survived.

Russ Jones, chief epidemiologist at the Tarrant County Public Health Department, told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday Immersing the head under fresh water can increase the risk of contracting Naegleria fowleri.

He said holding the nose underwater could reduce the risk.

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